Following up on Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker offering some timely advice and showrunner Chris Chibnall posting an original short story involving the 13th Doctor's regneration, Russell T Davies penned and posted a prequel to "Rose" – the episode that marked the series. What we weren't expecting was for Davies to post a sequel to the return episode, "Revenge of the Nestene".
Here's a look at the initial Instagram post from Davies, announcing the news earlier today:
In the prequel, Davies took us back in time to the last days of "The Time War"… and the beginning of the Doctor's return. This time, viewers get a sense of what happened after the final credits rolled on the the Doctor's return. Both were released to coincide with the global anniversary live-stream/live-tweet that took place on Thursday, which Davies also took part in.
Celebrating the 15th anniversary of 'Rose', Doctor Who's return to television, comes the sequel: "Revenge of the Nestene" by Russell T Davies. This is a part of #TripOfALifetime – The global re-watch event of 'Rose', raising money for the COVID-19 Film & TV Emergency Relief Fund.
Read by Jacob Dudman / Written by Russell T. Davies / Produced by Emily Cook / Music by Joe Kraemer
Special thanks to Big Finish Productions & Richard Atkinson
Here's a look at Davies' letter to the prequel he posted earlier today:
This was never meant to exist.
Way back, maybe early 2013, Tom Spilsbury, the editor of Doctor Who Magazine, asked me if I wanted to contribute to DWM's great 50th special. Maybe addressing that huge gap in Doctor Who lore, how did the Eighth Doctor regenerate into the Ninth?
I said well, yeah, no, but, isn't that best left to the imagination? If I write a script, it would be too real, too fixed, too canonical. But Tom's never one to give up. He said okay, what if you wrote, say, the final pages of a Target novel? About the last days of the Time War. The Doctor's final moments. And we could present it like a surviving fragment of the Novel That Never Was, so it exists in that half-real space of the spin-offs, possible but not factual, just slightly canon, if you so choose. Okay, Tom. You temptress. I'm in.
So I wrote this. It even starts mid-sentence, as if you've just turned to the last pages. Lee Binding created a beautiful cover. We were excited! And then Tom said, I'd better run this past Steven Moffat, just in case…
Oh, said Steven. Oh. How could we have known? That the Day of the Doctor would have an extra Doctor, a War Doctor? And Steven didn't even tell us about Night of the Doctor, he kept that regeneration a complete surprise! He just said, sorry, can you lay off that whole area? I agreed, harrumphed, went to bed and told him he was sleeping on the settee that night.
So the idea was snuffed a-borning. Until 2020. When a science fiction-shaped virus came along to change our lives (honestly, I've written the end of the world 100 times, but I never imagined everyone just sitting at home). Emily Cook of DWM created the livestream Day of the Doctor, then turned to Rose, and asked me if I had anything to offer..? At exactly the same time, Chris Chibnall emailed me, saying we need the Doctor more than ever these days, and could I think of any material?
By some miracle this file still existed. Lee still had his illustration (naturally, because he was under a Binding contract, oh I'm so funny). And strangely, looking back, it's funny how things fit; the Moment is described here as oak and brass, which isn't far from the final idea (I don't mean Billie). I wonder; I suspect, without realising, if Steven and I were both riffing off Eighth Doctor-style designs, maybe..? More importantly, the idea has come of age. This chapter only died because it became, continuity-wise, incorrect. But now, the Thirteenth Doctor has shown us Doctors galore, with infinite possibilities.
All Doctors exist. All stories are true. So come with me now, to the distant reefs of a terrible war, as the Doctor takes the Moment and changes both the universe and themselves forever…